What Are Proactive IT Services?
IT services have certainly changed over the last 20 years. At first most companies employed a break/fix model to IT services. When something broke, the company would call their IT service provider and they would come out and fix the problem.
This model would sometimes end up costing companies thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses. It is difficult to plan and budget for failures. Doing IT this way would also create significant downtime, as there would only be solutions after something was already broken.
When IT providers started using a managed services model, they were able to start providing proactive services. Not only does this provide a more fixed budget for small businesses, it also helped prevent a large percentage of issues that caused downtime.
Some business owners still question the need for proactive services, and have a hard time even understanding what is being done behind the scenes. There are four main things that managed service providers do proactively to help keep your IT costs fixed and minimize downtime.
Keeping your technology updated is one of the most important things you can do to help keep your devices secure and running properly. As vulnerabilities and bugs are discovered by manufacturers they release updates to patch them. You may hear updates referred to as “patches” because they patch these problems.
When an update is released, the attackers are notified of the previous problem and they will create software to exploit that vulnerability. If left unpatched, your systems would be vulnerable to this attack.
Proactive services will monitor the release of these updates for your operating system and some software programs and push them out to your devices so they are always up to date.
A critical component of your technology solution is your backups. Without good backups you could face catastrophic data loss. A good backup can also save you significant downtime during a massive failure, and can even just save you from losing hours of work in an accidental deletion.
However, backups can fail, or you could not be following good backup protocol. If you don’t have someone monitoring and testing your backups on a regular basis, you can not rely on them to save you in a critical situation.
Proactive IT services monitors and tests backups on a regular basis to ensure that your data is in tact in the event you will need it.
Computers and other devices can be extremely noisy. We aren’t talking about sound here, we are talking about alerts. If you have ever had to look through the event log for a device, there are a lot of alerts and notices that are constantly being sent. How are you supposed to cut through all the noise to discover if there is anything damaging about to happen?
With someone managing these alerts and understanding which ones need action taken, you can avoid downtime and solve problems before they become bigger.
For example, when a hardware component starts to fail, it will throw out a lot of errors first. Noticing these errors and scheduling a replacement of the hardware prior to the failure keeps you up and running when you really need your computer to work.
Proactive services monitors these alerts and remediates the problem or schedules someone to come out and fix it when it is convenient for you.
Technology standards and practices are constantly changing. There really is only one constant in technology, and that IS change. As technology improves, the standards on your network that were good enough before, might be severely out of date.
Technology alignment updates the standards and then checks your networks to make sure it is in compliance with the new standards and practices. This helps keep your network and your company secure and up to date.
Proactive services keeps your network in check with the latest IT standards.
With an IT services company that provides proactive services like Protek Support, you can rest easy knowing that your network is secure, and your downtime will be minimal.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.